“I want to get away somewhere and re-read Proust,”
Said an editor of Fortune to a man on Time.
But the fire roared and died, the phoenix quacked like a goose,
And all roads to the country fray like shawls
Outside the dusk of suburbs. Pacing the halls
Where mile-high windows frame a dream with witnesses,
You taste, fantast and epicure, the names of towns along the coast,
Black roadsters throbbing on the highways blue with rain
Toward one lamp, burning on those sentences.
“I want to get away someplace and re-read Proust,”
Said an editor of Newsweek to a man on Look.
Dachaus with telephones, Siberias with bonuses.
One reads, as winter settles on the town,
The evening paper, in an Irving Place café.
(Weldon Kees, from Poems 1947–1954.)